The legislature failed to pass a Health and Human Service appropriations bill before the constitutionally mandated midnight deadline this last Sunday, May 22nd. This marked a disappointing end to the 2022 legislative session that saw much of the $9 billion surplus left un-allocated.
Along with not passing the Health and Human Service appropriations bill, the legislature adjourned without passing many other omnibus funding bills, including, E-12 and Public Policy to name a couple, and while they came to an agreement on a $4 billion tax relief package, that bill was also not passed before deadline.
As of this writing, the prospect of a special session remains unclear. Both the Governor and Democratic Leadership in the House and Senate have called for a Special Session, and the Majority Leader in the Senate and Minority Leader in the House has been less committal about coming back to finish their work. The Governor met with leaders on Monday afternoon and while he shared with the press following the meeting that the door was not closed on a Special Session, he did say that legislators requested some time to go home and decompress before any decisions were made about potential next steps.
While we wait on the fate of a Special Session, the legislature did pass a Health and Human Service Policy only omnibus bill before the deadline on Sunday. Unfortunately, the majority of ARRM’s legislative priorities had a cost attached to them and were not included in the policy only bill, the below items were included and will have an impact on ARRM members:
- Allow for ICF/DD facilities that are supporting 7 or 8 individuals to be permitted as single-family residential use.
- This language is effective July 1, 2022, and will expire on July 1, 2023
- Change the current 5-bed variance to a 6-bed variance
- This language is effective upon federal approval and will expire 365 days after Federal approval is attained
- Added safety and health of the staff as a reason for Service Termination
- Added Basic Services to the list of services that can appeal Service Termination
- Emergency Background studies that were conducted under the CV23 waiver are now valid until January 1, 2023. Additionally, mandatory direct contact supervision requirements are waived to allow the individual to work without supervision while that individual’s background study is being processed. This is in effect while providers transition from name and date of birth background studies to fingerprint studies
I do want to underscore and highlight the disappointment of this legislative session. ARRM members showed up, shared their stories, and advocated for the people they support and their staff; and while it may not seem like it, you made a difference. ARRM staff is committed to continuing to push for meaningful, sustainable investments in disability waiver services. We will keep you updated on any potential special session and what you can do to help.
Thank you for everything you do and please reach out with any questions.
--Sara Grafstrom, ARRM